How Dancing Saved My Life

Sounds dramatic, right?  Yet, I realized once again last week that the seeming hyperbole is actually spot on in so many ways.

I had been sitting alone in my kitchen, crying.  Feeling powerless to help my husband who was in the hospital for a tricky operation.  I was anxious, sad, alone and angry; my hands of support, empty.

Hang on.  Was there really nothing I could do?

Suddenly, through the dark emotional miasma flashed the inspiration that has saved me time after time when I have traveled the bleak landscapes of grief, depression, loneliness, frustration, loss…and, of course, also those of jubilation, hope, compassion, transcendence.

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DANCE. Get up and DANCE!

So, I put on some of my husband’s fave tunes (anthemic Stevie Wonder) and rocked out. Sending energy to my husband, the doctors, everyone in that hospital, and the universe.

Yeah, baby.  DANCE!  It felt SOOOOOO good.

No surprise there.  For movement not only moves stress and emotions through us to release negativity, but also works its alchemy to generate positive energy that helps us and everything around us heal. And flourish!

If we are overthinking or worrying, dance centers us.  It grounds us, while also helping us to lighten up and be playful.  It offers the enormous wisdom of the body, wisdom we may not even be able to articulate verbally, but benefit from all the time.  Yes: DANCE!

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Having the gift of dance in my life has helped me appreciate the miracle of movement of all kinds.  Whether that of a human body or other animal or the magic of a breeze blowing through sunlit leaves or of the undulation of ocean waves, and even of machines.  My own physical journey, full of challenges and epiphanies, has opened a window into the bountiful world of movement.

Dancing has also offered a vehicle to question assumptions and to develop an expansive sense of possibility.  For this I owe so much to fellow dancers and dance mentors.  “Dance people” test the limits of what is possible all the time.

Our passion for movement drives us to challenge confines whether they are physical ones like fatigue and injury or mental and emotional ones like mastering choreography and dealing with performance anxiety.  Since I have had this model for exploring if something might be possible, I have been able to transfer the paradigm to the rest of my life.

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And then, of course, dance has given me so many experiences of transcendence.  Feeling in the flow of the universe, riding an inexpressible, thrilling wave of energy.  It is a spiritual experience.  Dancing is my prayer.

When I consider the vast array of beauty, inspiration, faith, comfort, empowerment, joy that dancing has given me, I appreciate so deeply how dance has saved me–whether from despair, lassitude, a grey and limp existence.

Photo credit: Arthur Fink

So, if you are ever feeling blue or powerless or angry or baffled or euphoric or anywhere in between, maybe try a little dance.  It has saved my life…maybe it can brighten or diversify or energize or, yes, even save, yours.

Dance, dance, otherwise we are lost….”~Pina Bausch

Photo credits: Top–Alexandra; 2nd and 3rd–Rich Davis; Bottom–Arthur Fink

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18 Responses to How Dancing Saved My Life

  1. I hope your husband is better and I agree…dance is a healing thing…always.

  2. maskednative says:

    Yes, you are right, there is always something we can do, and in the doing of a positive act, no matter how simple or otherwise, the right energy is sent into the universe. Thanks for the reminder.

    • SirenaTales says:

      “…and in the doing of a positive act, no matter how simple or otherwise, the right energy is sent into the universe….” Thank you so much for your eloquent and succinct synopsis, Teri. xo

  3. Willow-Marie says:

    Hope your husband is recovering and your heart is lighter. ❤

  4. Rachael Charmley says:

    The power of centring, so elegantly and poetically put, my friend. I do hope your husband is through his ordeal now and on the mend. We are going through a similar ordeal here – waiting for the phone call that will start the hospital process that neither of us wants to engage in but feel it is probably for the best. Take care ❤ xx

  5. ST, I whole heartedly agree with you on this one..there’s nothing like using the body to get out of the head. I’m glad it helped you find some relief. Sending positive thoughts and well wishes to you and your family. Big Hug.

    • SirenaTales says:

      Yes! Here’s to “using the body to get out of the head….!” And on a related note, went to my third yoga class in 9 days–thank you for your inspiration. xxo

  6. diahannreyes says:

    “Dancing is my prayer.” like the ancient Shamanesses of old. I sometimes think how movement’s magic has been lost in the sea of fitness. Not that being fit is bad but I know I get my best ideas when I move my body in dance even if just in a dance workout class. Dancing also saved my life- got me back into my body. Thanks for reminding me of this Chloe. Sometimes easy to take the connections for granted.

    • SirenaTales says:

      “Movement’s magic”–what a perfect way of putting it, Diahann. And I have the same experience as you: getting “my best ideas when I move my body in dance….” I believe a lot more people would find the same thing were they to dance. Those Shamanesses knew what they were about! As always, it’s a joy and an inspiration to have you here. Thank you! xxo

  7. Luggage Lady says:

    Oh, Chloe, I am so far behind and just now seeing this…Sending you so much love and prayers for you and your darling husband. Hoping all turned out okay. Leave it to your beautiful self to find the silver lining even in the most challenging of circumstances. Cheers to brightening, diversifying, & energizing — things you do for so many. Dance on my Dear Treasured Friend!!!! xoxoxoxo

    • SirenaTales says:

      Thank you SO much for your kind wishes, LL. Things are a lot better here, thankfully…it was a rough patch for awhile there. What a gift it is having you see me in such a positive light, my lovely friend. And thank you for the gorgeous photos of your most recent travels. Looking forward to your next post :). xoxo

  8. chiaink says:

    Wishing all the best for your husband and what great pics! xo

    • SirenaTales says:

      Oh, Chia! So sorry I didn’t reply to your sweet comment. Thank you very much. I’ve been dropping a lot of balls as we get ready to move. Hope all’s well with you. xo

  9. Mél@nie says:

    ”Une danse est comme un poème…”(Denis Diderot) – and you’re a dancing poet, Belle Sirène… ❤

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